SkillDisplay - The Challenges and plans of TYPO3 Docs
Thanks to Christina from SkillDisplay for sharing!
Are you new to the content management system TYPO3? Or have you already worked hundreds of hours with it? Or would you even call yourself an expert? You can always learn something new, or if you are already familiar with a certain topic, then contribute!
The range of knowledge that TYPO3 users have is vast and the TYPO3 Documentation Team has the task to provide documentation that picks up everyone - from Editors to Developers and from Consultants to Integrators. Have you ever wondered who is behind the documentation, what the team is currently working on, and what the future plans are? I have been talking to Daniel Siepmann - member of the TYPO3 Documentation Team - who answered all my questions!
Read on to get more information to the following topics:
- TYPO3 Documentation Team
- Current challenges
- Future plan: Combine TYPO3 documentation and SkillDisplay
- Future plan: Release the new LTS version together
- What can everyone contribute
- Tips for TYPO3 Users
The TYPO3 Documentation Team consists of Martin Bless, Daniel Siepmann, and Sybille Peters. As there are just three members in the team, their task is - besides writing their own documentation - to optimize the workflow so it’s easy for the community to contribute. This is for realising their main goal:
“Our main goal is comprehensive, relevant, up-to-date and easy to find documentation about TYPO3 products for all users.”
Along with many other TYPO3 teams, the edu team, the server team, and the documentation team are working in their free time to improve their commitment to the system. Daniel’s personal motivation is: helping others. He wants to make it easier to use TYPO3. Besides, it saves a lot of time to write the documentation one time and just forward the link to colleagues or customers if they have a question on a specific topic. Additionally, he is helping a lot of other people in the community who need knowledge in a certain area. The second motivation is, that he wants to improve the accessibility of TYPO3, and therefore helps that TYPO3 will still exist in the future.
The favourite TYPO3 function
Daniel was asked what his favourite TYPO3 function is and his answer was, that he likes that TYPO3 starts to rely on state of the art solutions and mentioned especially the PSR Standards which are also part of the TYPO3 CMS Certified Developer. If you haven’t heard of PSR before - this is the acronym for PHP Standards Recommendations. One of these Recommendations is covered in the skill PSR-7: Request/Response, which focuses on HTTP message interfaces.
The central issue is creating documentation which can be used by beginners, advanced, and experts. Therefore, the documentation should be suitable for Editors, Integrators, Developers, and Consultants. Everyone should be able to find resources for their knowledge level.
There are different target areas, the TYPO3 Documentation Team relies on.
- Tutorials and Guides
- References / Dictionary
- How to reach certain goals
- Explanation of concepts
Different content should be available and users should be able to navigate through and use them. To get a deeper insight - just take a look at the TYPO3 Documentation which is available here.
The plan is to make TYPO3 documentation available - in a clean way. This should be done with the help of SkillDisplay and its way of visualising knowledge with the help of a tree, which shows all the dependencies of different skills.
Daniel gave the example - if there is an Editor who has no idea what he needs to know, he can go to the SkillDisplay platform and find the TYPO3 CMS Certified Editor SkillSet, which is currently available for LTS v9. Editors can then click on the skills, which provide links that are often resources of the TYPO3 documentation. Integrators and Developers can access SkillSets that suit the official certifications too and could be additionally split up into smaller SkillSets which focus on certain goals - “In the end, you should be able to solve xy.”
The main focus here lays on the structure. Users should be able to navigate through the documentation and ideally verify the skills they newly learned on the SkillDisplay platform to remember which topics they already ran through. By embedding SkillDisplays’ verification buttons on the Documentation site itself, users will be able to verify their skills right after learning them. When a skill is verified, related skills should appear, so learners always have a next skill, which they can achieve.
The ideal scenario would be, that the release from code and changelog of a new TYPO3 version comes along with updated certifications, documentation, and SkillSets - and therefore, cooperation with other TYPO3 teams is necessary.
Cooperation with the TYPO3 Education Committee
To improve the documentation, the TYPO3 Education Committee and the TYPO3 Documentation Team have started to have meetings a couple of months ago. Sometimes there are missing links for certification content, even though the documentation is already available. Daniel decided to join both teams to improve the knowledge transfer and to coordinate the teams for the release of a new LTS version.
The strategy is that the TYPO3 Education Committee provides the question catalogue for the certificates and the docs team links the documentation to it. Together this forms a free to use preparation for the TYPO3 exams, which is structured on the SkillDisplay platform with the learners’ ability to track the learning progress.
Cooperation between TYPO3 teams is extremely important. TYPO3 Documentation wouldn't be possible without the help of the community. Therefore, the three members of the team try to make any challenges as easy as possible. It is important that everyone can contribute to the process. Sometimes documentation might be obsolete or missing - and exactly there is your field of application! At the TYPO3 Documentation Teams’ site, you can find more information and a lot of links that explain how you can contribute. I’ll list some of them here:
To end this blog post, I want to highlight the answers Daniel gave when I asked him, what his tips are for TYPO3 users:
- Don’t be discouraged! Go up to the TYPO3 community.
- Use resources that are already available.
- Don’t be scared of looking into the source code. It happens that documentation is not up to date therefore, the code is helpful.
- Last but not least, everyone is welcome to help with the documentation.
Author's note: Thank you to Daniel for the interview and the whole team, for maintaining the documentation!